Nick Higham is to leave 'Meet the Author'. A real shame, but the show isn't going anywhere. Phew!
One thing we're sure of - other than there not being enough books coverage on TV - is that the coverage there is damn sure doesn't need to go anywhere. So our hearts skipped when we saw this news...fearing that Meet the Author would be disappearing as Higham departs.
Not so. Of course, we're sorry Higham has chosen to go; his obvious fascination with books, the people behind them, and the stories woven into pages, make him a fine advocate of virtual and physical book piles everywhere.
The presenter says it is the "substantial commitment" required of him which is the deciding factor in his decision. And so after years he'll be leaving in January to, he says, "free up more time". The show itself will, thankfully, be continuing. It should be well supported too - as this comment from BBC News Channel head, Sam Taylor suggests:
We are delighted that the programme will be continuing with books editor for BBC News James Naughtie and arts correspondent Rebecca Jones regularly at the helm, and that these interviews will be reaching a new audience in a regular slot on Radio 4’s "Today" programme.
Taylor adds he will be sad to see the presenter go himself, calling Higham a "tremendous champion of books and literature". Hear, hear. What next for him? Calling his time on the show "enjoyable and interesting work", the presenter notes that he'll miss "all these wonderful books which arrive, or emails touting books, and you just think ‘Ahhh, I can’t wait to read that!' ".
Happily he won't miss books completely; he'll be catching up on a few reads he already has in reserve.
"One of the things I’m looking forward to – quite genuinely – is I have huge piles of books published in the last few years, which I want to read, just sitting at home and I have not had time to read...I am really looking forward to that! That’s what’s going to be really good about this new arrangement."
We're rather envious! An arrangement richly deserved though, happy reading sir.